Rene Gonzalez | Biography

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Rene Gonzalez (b.1983, Montreal, Canada) grew up first in Canada as the son of political refugees, then in Costa Rica interacting with a new tropical setting and now lives in London. Gonzalez paints scenes that reflect on the role of myth and magical realism in the context of a contemporary secular society. Vibrant characters are surrounded by otherworldly environments featuring echoes of tropical forests and manmade structures, theatrical compositions filled with decorative textures, intricate details of foliage and expressive applications of paint. Through his images Rene tries to express his experience of the world as a beautiful yet unsettling mystery, a cross pollinated global community where we can never be entirely familiar with “the recognisable” and “the foreign” is part of the everyday. Often large canvases feature the juxtaposition of different aesthetic languages, such as references to classical painting, religious iconography, pop art, surrealism, advertising, propaganda, folklore from different cultures and storytelling structures carried on from his background as a graffiti artist and mural painter, conveying a sense of dialogue between the different interacting elements on the canvas. The artist depicts these seductive and dark visual narratives from his position as “an outsider”, like a modern fairy tale where creatures, objects and spaces seem to be alive with ambiguous intentions. Recurrent themes are the importance of conversation, free speech and the modern day hero in a rapidly evolving landscape. In 2019 he held solo exhibits in Paris and at Luxembourg Art Fair, Galerie Belem, Paris and Luxemburg, and he has another solo show Parade Presents Rene Gonzalez, Great Western Studios, organized and curated by Milo Astaire and Ben Louis LeBus, UK. Gonzalez has taken part in numerous group exhibitions such as Upcoming group show for charity at House of Vans, The Center Point Skateboards, London (2020); Paint, Messums Wiltshire, UK (2019); Group exhibition by The Auction Collective, Candid Arts, UK (2019); Jackson’s Art Prize, Affordable Art Fair, UK (2018); Art Awards Retrospective, Clyde & Co Art Awards, Oxo Tower Wharf Gallery, London, UK (2017); Artists of the Future 2017, Degree Art Gallery, London, UK (2017); Asymmetrical Intersections, curated by ELX Art, Art Helix Gallery, New York, USA (2017); and Affordable Art Fair, Recent Graduate Exhibit, London, UK (2015). Other projects include The Artist’s Artist Project, Mural for the Seven Dials Trust, London, UK (2019); Temporal, Art residency in Costa Rica, Costa Rica (2019); AucArt Lab, Residency and group show, Camden, UK (2019); NBA London, commissioned 3 x 4 meters painting for NBA London event at the O2 Arena. Sponsored by America Airlines and NBA London (2017); Clyde & Co art award, commissioned 19-meter painting for the law firm offices as the winner of the 2015 Blank Canvas Art Prize, UK (2017); Clarks Rebooted, commissioned painting and design for a limited-edition version of Clarks classic Desert Boot, directed by Paolo Gabrielli” and organized by Filippo Tattoni-Marcozzi. The exhibit toured around the world including New York, Milan and the V & A museum (the dome), for an auction event (2015); Art Gemini Prize: Second Place (Painting), Exhibition curated and directed by Jimmy Lek, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London (2104);, artwork design to transcribe into framed canvas posters, under the direction of Gustavo Antonioni for a collaboration with the Brand Bruno Collection, UK (2013).